December 16th, 2005

The Scourge of Grief

This morning we heard the one of my parents' closest friends killed himself last night -- he shot himself.

I was running out the door with my son, taking him to a special pre-school field trip when my mom called...I asked my husband to take a message, but he handed me the phone. "I think it's your mom, and she's crying." I took the phone, and already the fear was building. Her voice choking, she told me Phil was dead. I couldn't believe it -- Phil, a gifted architect who had recently designed a beautiful home -- I'd seen him when I went ot see the house. I can picture that eager look on his face -- an artist's look, really, of 'do you like it? do you really like it?' We did, of course, because it was beautiful. He won a bunch of awards for that house...but it wasn't selling, partly because the asking price was $2.5 mil. Yes, it was worth it, but who has that kind of money lying around?

So, he was down, he was stressed -- but suicide? He and his wife were planning a trip to Hawaii for christmas...they were so excited. There were going to leave on the 22nd. Now she's planning a funeral. I just can't imagine.... At first I was shocked, then I wept. Then I was angry, at Phil, at God. Why did this happen? why? Why!? As the day passed, I learned a few more details. Phil has suffered from migraines for the majority of his life. He's on a prescprition medication to help control them. Recently he was also diagnosed with diabetes. He found an herbal supplement on-line and began taking it. He loved it -- he said he felt better than he has in years. But it turns out that the two were reacting with each other...a doctor looking at the ingredients in both today said it's very possible that they created an imbalance in his brain. I'm sure it didn't help that Phil was suffering from an extended migraine that began last sunday...who knows? Did he take extra medication to help? Was that what reacted with the herbs to push him over the edge? We'll probably never know.

I wrote a poem this afternoon...it helped me, a bit, to get out some of the frustration and helplessness that I feel. Here it is: Why?
All light is pulled from my soul, all is grey
Chill fills my heart; bare branches click
Their anger carried on icy wind, they
Pound the pain. Darkness, scourging and thick,
Covers me…To yesterday, I long to fly.

Why!
If God is love, where is the sun?
Where is the day? How does love die
When one is gone, when one has run
Away from the misery, yet here am I
Left behind…To yesterday, I need to fly.

Why…
Does one man seek release in death
When others must remain and be strong
When we must hold on and give our breath
Daily, hourly, in living so long
Without him…To yesterday, can we fly?

Hope
Comes in the darkest night, its song
Like discord in aching ears. But God declares
He is large enough to hold such grief along
With me, along with you. His warmth pares
Away the cold…and brings His hope.

Hope!
It has to be, the sun will shine
And burn away the mourning fog
The unceasing echo, the salty brine
And from this marsh, this terrible bog
His love lifts…His love…His Love.



Though we're still in shock, I need His hope. The hope that the sun will shine again, and we will feel His warmth.

God bless, and I pray that your own joy will be made stronger and deeper because of this.
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